There have been no growing pains for Pete Alonso. No learning curve. All the New York Mets first baseman has done since making his Major League debut is the hit the ball hard and often. He launched his 27th home run of the year today, breaking Darryl Strawberry’s rookie team record. Checking the calendar: it’s June 23.
Alonso trails only the obscenely hot Christian Yelich in that department league-wide. He is on that Cody Bellinger track. Aaron Judge’s rookie mark of 52 is definitely in play. Twenty-seven homers in 77 games is about as good a start as a slugger can have. Strawberry, who spent the five boroughs at a phenomenon, needed 122 to blast his 26 round-trippers.
And though Alonso’s strikeout numbers are high, it’s not all-or-nothing with the 24-year-old. His .362 on-base percentage, combined with the power, has his OPS sitting around the 1.000 mark.
Production-wise, Alonso’s coming-out party, when it’s all said and done, may be the most impressive of all the recent breakout freshman campaigns New York has experienced in recent years. Judge, Gary Sanchez, Miguel Adujar, Noah Syndergaard.
It feels as thought he’s doing it with less fanfare than his predecessors, perhaps because his team isn’t a feel-good story and has obvious deficiencies. Or perhaps because this is a familiar script. Whatever the case, it’s remarkable that there’s a young kid in the media mecca breaking records and showing all kinds of potential and being … undercovered?
What a time to be young and alive.